2017 Conference Tracks
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
7:00AM - 8:00AM - Organic Breakfast Buffet
8:00AM - 10:00AM - Wednesday Morning Conference Track Session
10:00AM - 10:30AM - Break & refreshments in Exhibit Hall
10:30AM - 12:30PM - Wednesday Late Morning Conference Track Session
12:30PM - 4th Annual GPOF Conference concludes
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
8:00AM - 9:00AM - Registration Open, Exhibit Hall Open
9:00AM - 9:15AM - Welcome and Program Overview
9:15AM - 12:10PM - Tuesday Morning Conference Track Session
12:15PM - 1:30PM - Organic Lunch and Keynote, Dr Jennifer Tucker
1:30PM - 4:30PM - Tuesday Afternoon Conference Track Session
5:00PM - 6:30PM - Cocktails and Refreshments in Exhibit Hall
6:30PM - 8:15PM - Plated Organic Dinner, PCO 20th Anniversary Celebration, Annual Meeting and Dinner
Dr. Jennifer Tucker is Associate Deputy Administrator of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) in Washington DC. She has been the second in command at the NOP for six years, guiding communications and outreach, training, technology development, and operations for the program. Before coming to NOP, she was a consultant specializing in strategic planning, communications, and leadership and team development. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies.
Tuesday Morning Session - Growing Concord Grapes Organically
Presenter - Mr. Bryan Hed
Bryan will present data collected over twelve years of growing Concord juice grapes organically. The information will focus on grape disease management and will emphasize topics like proper site selection, sanitation, and effective fungicide options.
Tuesday Morning Session - Compost Tea for Wine Grape Disease Management
Presenter - Dr. Annemiek Schilder
The nature and properties of compost teas will be discussed in relation to their utility in reducing fungal disease pressure in grape production.
Tuesday Afternoon Session - Growing Wine Grapes Organically
Presenter - Mr. Bryan Hed
Bryan will present data that focuses on organic wine grape production. He will emphasize the importance of variety selection and how it relates to disease management. Trellis management that minimizes disease susceptibility and the role of cultural disease control will also be discussed. Lastly, Bryan will cover what he's learned over the years in terms of organic fungicide options for wine grape varieties.
Tuesday Afternoon Session - Establishment and Cultural Management for Organic Blueberry Production
Presenter - Dr Annemiek Schilder
Disease diagnosis and biology as well as cultural means of controlling diseases in organic blueberry plantings
Wednesday Morning Session - Blueberry Diseases and the Effectiveness of Organic Control Materials
Presenter - Dr Annemiek Schilder
Discussion of approved biological and chemical treatment options for disease control in organic blueberries.
Wednesday Late Morning Session - Integrating behavioral and biological tactics for the management of brown marmorated stink bug
Presenter - Dr Angelita Acebes-Doria
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive and highly dispersed insect pest causing serious economic damage to tree fruit in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. Following the outbreak in 2010, conventional growers have resorted to using broad spectrum insecticides to manage BMSB, while organic growers have had few options, particularly in tree fruit. Concerted efforts to develop behaviorally- and ecologically-based management tactics have occurred since that time. This presentation will discuss management strategies such as attract-&-kill, border spray, trap crops, exclusion netting and biological control which will help minimize the use of insecticides (conventional or organic) to manage BMSB populations while maintaining profitable fruit production.
Wednesday Late Morning Session - Managing spotted wing drosophila using behavioral and horticultural manipulations
Presenter - Dr Angelita Acebes-Doria
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is an invasive, polyphagous fruit fly that attacks soft-skinned fruits causing considerable economic losses to small fruit production in the US. Currently, calendar-based insecticidal applications are the main option employed by conventional and organic growers to manage this pest. This presentation will discuss development of alternative management strategies, namely attracticidal spheres and cultural control tactics that are being developed to control SWD with the goal of reducing reliance on insecticidal use.
Fruit Track Presenters
Annemiek Schilder, MSU
Annemiek Schilder, a descendant of a long line of dairy farmers in The Netherlands, worked as a small fruit pathologist at Michigan State University for 19 years and has her own company called BerryConsult. Her research and extension activities focus on sustainable disease management in grapes and berry crops. She obtained her B.S. degree in Agronomy from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Pathology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She also studied at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands and worked for 3 years as a researcher at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Bryan Hed, PSU
In 18 years as a plant pathologist for Penn State University, Bryan has focused his efforts on improving grape disease management programs for Pennsylvania grape growers. In these GPOF presentations, he will discuss the general importance of non-chemical disease control methods in organic production such as site and variety selection, cultural controls and sanitation. He will also incorporate information about the biology of the major grape pathogens and the results of our experiments with organic methods of disease control over the past several years.
Dr. Angelita Acebes-Doria
Dr. Angelita Acebes-Doria is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the USDA Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV, in Dr. Tracy Leskey’s laboratory, focusing on the behavior and ecology of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and refinement of BMSB monitoring tactics in orchard ecosystems. She obtained her PhD degree from Virginia Tech working on the effects of host plants on the biology and ecology of BMSB in the Mid-Atlantic region. She received a M.S. degree from the University of Hawaii where she worked on the use of natural enemies for the control of aphid pests. She has a decade-long experience in agricultural entomology spanning the areas of biological control, insect behavior and ecology, pest monitoring and management. Her research foci revolve around the integration of biological and ecological information in the development of ecologically-based, and environmentally-sound pest management strategies. In addition, she is presently serving in the US Army Reserves while awaiting commission as an Army Reserve Entomology Officer.
Tuesday Morning Session - Solving problems in vegetable production by variety selection
Presenters - Debra Deis and Jim Cicalese
Succeeding as a vegetable grower requires good soil, the right inputs and the right variety selection for your climate and market. As a long-time seed supplier based in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, we will share our variety recommendations for the mid-Atlantic region. Our trial farm is in Hershey and our sales and product development staff conduct many other trials on growers’ farms.
Tuesday Morning Session - Mechanizing the Small Vegetable Farm: Increasing Production and Profitability
Presenter - George Brittenburg
Mechanization of the small vegetable farm allows farmers to improve the efficiency of their production, leading to increased scale and higher retention of profits. This workshop will explore the economics of mechanizing the farm as well as production, harvest, and post-harvest applications for mechanization.
Tuesday Afternoon Session - Efficient Labor
Presenters - Tricia Borneman and Tom Murtha of Blooming Glen Farm
How to delegate, hand out responsibility and inspire people to keep them committed to efficiency. After 12 years of farming, we have effective processes in place to keep our employees moving because every hour is worth money. This also contributes to our paper trail to maintain organic certification.
Tuesday Afternoon Session - Understanding the USDA Organic and National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances
Presenter - Jen Berkebile
One of the challenges for both new and veteran organic farmers and processors is working within the USDA National Organic Program regulations to use only allowed input materials. This presentation aims to pull back the curtain on some of the basic organic regulatory requirements, with a specific focus on inputs, such as fertilizers, pesticides, livestock medical treatments, and processing aids. We will discuss the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, which is the section of the National Organic Program regulations that addresses inputs. We will also address how and when the National Organic Program evaluates input materials for updates to the regulations, and how this translates to material review at the certifier level.
Wednesday Morning Session - Organic disease management in tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers
Presenter - Steve Bogash
Managing diseases in indoor and outdoor grown cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes using biocontrol agents coupled with good growing practices continues to get easier. This is primarily due to steady growth in biocontrol agents and cover cropping systems. We will discuss what has worked and what has not along with strategies to best manage common plant diseases.
Wednesday Late Morning Session - Vegetable disease scouting and diagnostics for improved crop productivity
Presenter - Beth Gugino, Penn State University
Come learn strategies for scouting vegetable crops for diseases and tips for accurately identifying both common and emerging diseases in Pennsylvania. Accurate disease diagnosis and regular scouting are essential for both managing diseases within the season as well as aiding in cultivar selection, modifying crop rotations and augmenting cultural practices for improved disease management for the next season.
Jim Cicalese is Seedway’s sales consultant for New Jersey and Pennsylvania and has in-depth knowledge of regional challenges and successes. Using his extensive knowledge of history as a volunteer (in character) at Independence Hall, you might notice a resemblance to several of our “Founding Fathers”.
Debra’s experience with organic vegetables goes back to working at Rodale Press and in the test kitchen for Organic Gardening and New Farm Magazine. While at Rodale, she became interested in seeds and went on to work at Johnny’s and then at Sakata Seed America in California where she segued into the wine business by working at Fetzer Vineyard’s organic garden in Mendocino County. Upon moving back to Pennsylvania (who can stay away?) she was the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Wine Association. Fifteen years ago she returned to vegetable seeds with the vegetable seed division of Seedway, based in Elizabethtown PA, where she is a Product Manager and Organic Program Coordinator. As the largest vegetable seed company in our sales region, Seedway serves professional growers from Ontario through Florida and west to the Rocky Mountains.
George Brittenburg co-owns and operates Taproot Farm with his wife Ola Creston. Established in 2009, Taproot Farm is a Certified Organic first generation vegetable farm in Berks County, PA. George's circuitous route to farming brought him around the world before starting a family and farm in his home state. He is passionate about organic farming and the movements for social and environmental justice.
Jen Berkebile is the Materials Program Manager at Pennyslvania Certified Organic, a USDA accredited certification agency that certifiers more than 1,300 producers and processors as organic. In her role, she leads the team that reviews inputs for clients, including fertilizers and pesticides, livestock feed additives and medical treatments, and processing aids for organic processed products. She also leads PCO's Policy Subcommittee and writes and presents comments on National Organic Standards Board recommendations and National Organic Program publications. Jen holds a a master's degree in ecology from Penn State University and a bachelor's degree in biology from Duquesne University. She is originally from Johnstown, PA, but currently resides in State College.
Beth K. Gugino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at The Pennsylvania State University located at University Park, PA. Her extension and adaptive research program focuses on the identification, epidemiology and management of important and emerging diseases of major vegetable crops in Pennsylvania and the Northeast region. She works closely industry stakeholder groups like the Pennsylvania Vegetable Grower Association and has regularly presented at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention and Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture meetings. She is currently serving as a managing member on the PCO Board of Directors.
She received her B.S. in Horticulture and M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from The Pennsylvania State University. She was a post-doc at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station with Cornell University working with diseases of vegetable crops and soil health for four years before returning to Penn State in June 2008.
Tom Murtha and Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen Farm
Blooming Glen Farm is a reflection of the experience and dedication of farmers and owners Tom Murtha and Tricia Borneman. We have been farming together since 2000. We worked on organic farms in Connecticut, Oregon, New Jersey and Pennsylvania before returning to Bucks County to start Blooming Glen Farm. Growing up in Bucks County, Tricia witnessed firsthand the rapid loss of productive farmland to development. We are driven by a passion for food and community, and committed to preserving the rich agricultural heritage of this region. We live our values through the daily work of the farm, and share the bounty of our labor with our community of eaters.
Steve retired as a Horticulture Educator and Researcher, PSU Cooperative Extension in June 2016. Since retiring, Steve has continued to develop new nutrient products and the recommendation to use these products in vegetables, small fruit and flowers. He continues to do applied research in field and high tunnels on bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and processing tomatoes seeking to improve yields and quality. Pro-active pest management using biological control agents is an important factor in all of these trials. Steve has been doing extensive trials in high tunnel and field tomatoes bell peppers, and cucumbers with a focus on plant nutrition and biological pest management since 2000. Evaluating more than 500 varieties of tomatoes for flavor, appearance, disease resistance and general usability has made Steve very opinionated when it comes to tomato varieties.
Tuesday Morning Session - Troubleshooting Poultry Health in an Organic Flock
Presenter - Casey Trinkhaus
Tuesday Morning Session - An Organic Certification Primer for Poultry Producers
Presenter - Justine Cook
Organic certification continues to offer a lucrative marketing opportunity, but becoming certified can seem like a daunting process. This presentation will cover the basic requirements for organic certification, including livestock living conditions, land eligibility, outdoor access, record-keeping examples, and allowed materials. Financial and technical assistance programs for certified operations, or producers who are applying for certification, will also be discussed.
Tuesday Afternoon Session - Poultry Nutrition and Pasture Management and Differentiating Pastured Poultry from Field to Plate
Presenter - Casey Trinkhaus of Fertrell, Mike Badger of APPPA
Pastured poultry are often fed diets that are formulated for commercially-housed birds. In this presentation, we will discuss the nutritional requirements of pastured broilers, layers, and turkeys and examine their specific feed requirements. You will leave this presentation understanding what to look for on your own feed tags and how pasture influences your birds' diets.
Also, learn why pastured poultry is on the move and how the pasture-based production model influences health, welfare, taste, texture, consumer expectations, and more. Mike will take a principled approach to pastured production and lay out the foundation from which all pastured poultry is built upon.
Wednesday Morning Session - Certified Organic Pastured Poultry Production and Marketing
Presenter - Greg Stricker
A PowerPoint slideshow will be featured to highlight the operation. We direct market about 800 boilers and eggs from about 300 laying chickens. We will show the benefits of adding these enterprises onto our raw milk dairy business.
Wednesday Morning Session - Deep Roots Valley Farm Story: Starting from Scratch
Presenter - Will Smith
Learn from the successes and failures of someone who had no farming experience when they started. Our first year we raised 200 pasture raised broilers and have grown that into 5,000/ year.
Wednesday Late Morning Session - Leveraging On-Farm Poultry Process Exemptions to Maximize Profit
Presenter - Mike Badger of APPPA
Exempt processing, equipment selection, control points for sanitation, packaging and storage. Value-added processing and the economics of it from chicken and turkey perspective. Economic comparison of doing your own processing versus hiring it out.
Wednesday Late Morning Session - Organic Certification Panel
Presenters - Ashley Madea, Tess Weigand, Heather Donald
Justine Cook is a Certification Specialist with Pennsylvania Certified Organic and handles organic certification review and compliance for over 200 poultry operations. She participates on the Accredited Certifiers Association's Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Working Group to develop best practices around enforcing organic poultry regulations. Cook has a Masters of Science in Agronomy, from Penn State University, and prior to PCO worked at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, where she provided technical assistance and conservation planning information to certified organic farmers. She joined PCO in January of 2016.
Casey Trinkaus is a Livestock and Poultry Specialist with the Fertrell Company. Holding a Masters Degree in Food Studies, Casey's main focus is on poultry and swine nutrition, health, and management. She raises both broilers and turkeys for field trials and has a love for turkeys like no other.
Will and his wife Kelly started their farm, Deep Roots Valley Farm, in 2011. With no farming experience they started small and kept their pasture based operation as bare bones as possible. Their first year they raised 200 broilers, 100 laying hens, 20 turkeys and grazed 13 dairy beef steers. They have grown their operation to include 5,000 broilers, 1,500 laying hens, 200 turkeys, 20 pigs, and 60 head of beef. They market their products directly to their customers and a few area restaurants.
Mike serves the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) as Executive Director and Publisher of Grit, the organization's bi-monthly trade publication. APPPA is a farmer-based networking and educational organization for pastured poultry producers who direct market. Mike started raising pastured poultry in 2008 with a family flock of layers; broilers, turkeys, and the occasional duck soon followed. For several years, he operated a mobile poultry processing business with wife Christie while building a small direct-marketed pastured poultry business through his farm business Badger's Millside Farm. Mike is a regular speaker and educator at sustainable agriculture conferences around the country; he currently hosts Pastured Poultry Talk, a weekly podcast. For more information on all his pastured poultry adventures, start at pasturedpoultrytalk.com
Gregory Stricker is the 5th generation farmer at Spring Creek Farms. When he returned to the farm full time in 2010, they began direct marketing poultry and also purchased a bottling machine to take raw milk to a farmers market in the region. To give consumers the peace of mind that they are getting a truly authentic organic product, Spring Creek Farm completed the organic certification. This ensures that customers see the USDA Certified Organic emblem on all their poultry products.
Tuesday Morning Session - Finding Your Unfair Advantage: An Intro to Holistic Organic Dairy Farming
Presenters - Phyllis and Paul Van Amburgh
A comprehensive overview of the application of Holistic management to grazing operations, with a focus on dairy. We will explore the foundational principles and how the process effectively directs resources and actions that enable us to wearer the difficult market.
Tuesday Afternoon Session - Millionaire Model Dairy Farms - Economics of Organic and Organic-No Grain Dairies
Presenters - Dr Larry Tranel
First Hour - Dr. Tranel will highlight Millionaire Model Dairy Farms and assist producers in analyzing the profitability of a dairy farm using the Dairy TRANS software program. In addition, the Economics of Organic Dairying and Organic-No Grain Dairying will be compared to Conventional and Hybrid Grazing dairies with considerations of milk price sensitivity in the profit comparisons. This session will also highlight many of the organic profit studies Dr. Tranel has done over the past several years with his analysis of what sets the higher profit dairies apart from the lower profit dairies. Learn how to analyze your own farm’s finances using benchmark comparisons.
Second Hour - In this workshop we will discuss many of the strategies which can be used to increase your cows forage intake from pasture so they can maintain better body condition, make more milk and have better reproductive performance.
Wednesday Morning Session - Extreme Makeover: Milking and Dairy Cow Facilities Edition
Presenters - Dr. Larry Tranel
This session will focus on labor efficiency and cow comfort. Building your own TRANS Iowa Low Cost Parlor will be highlighted whereby Dr. Tranel will share ideas of increasing labor efficiency, ergonomics and safety into the milking system while using low cost ideas to assist cow comfort as well.
Wednesday Late Morning Session - Using Your most Powerful Tools: Density and Training for Better Pasture Management
Presenters - Phyllis and Paul Van Amburgh
In-depth, high-level discussion on creating long-season, productive, and healthy pastures with these tools.
Phyllis and Paul Van Amburgh
The Van Amburghs manage 500 acres (233 owned, balanced leased) for their 100% organic grass-fed dairy and beef operation. Along with the 95 head of composite bred dairy cattle that includes Milking Devon genetics, there are 20 Devon beef cattle, hogs, goats, horses and a countless variety of birds as well as abundant woodland, stream, and wetland wildlife.
Dr. Larry Tranel
Dr. Larry Tranel grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and began his career as a dairy farmer and then spent 10 years as a Dairy Farm Management Agent with UW-Extension. Larry has spent the past 18 years a Dairy Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Dr. Tranel has been instrumental in developing the Millionaire Model Dairy Farm project, the Dairy TRANS financial software program, and the TRANS Iowa Low Cost parlor. Larry has specialized in financial management on dairy farms with a keen interest in organic dairy production.
Field Crops Track
Tuesday Morning Session - Organic Production of Fiber and Oil Crops
Presenter - Heather Darby
This session will discuss organic production of fiber & oilseed crops including hemp, flax, sunflower and many others. After discussing agronomics, small scale oil processing including fiber characteristics will be discussed.
Tuesday Morning Session - First Year Observations of Industrial Hemp Production in PA
Presenter - Ron Hoover
Tuesday Afternoon Session - Understanding the Basis of Agriculture Finance & Alternative Loan Programs
Presenter - Jordan Risser
Jordan will be talking about the 5 C's of credit as well as a brief overview of the requirements for seeking credit from a financial institution. Further information will be provided on the alternative financing options for beginning farmers, which include FSA loans and the state Next Generation Farm Loan Program.
Tuesday Afternoon Session - Organic Crop Marketing
Presenter - Andrew Smyre
The presentation will cover the basics of organic grain transactions. We will discuss the general state of the markets, importing, end use and acres. Finding markets and understanding marketing options will also be reviewed.
Wednesday Morning Session - Panel Discussion: Organic Grain Production Equipment and Storage Panel
Panel - Elvin Ranck, Charvin Organic Farm; Randy Wenger, Misty Meadow Farm; Eric and Joel Steigman, Small Valley Milling; moderated by Andrew Smyre
Wednesday Late Morning Session - Farming Organics in a Big Way
Presenter - Logan Petrey, Agronomist, Organics Farm Manager, Generation Farms
Large-scale organic farming proposes obstacles found in both small organic farms and large conventional farms. Developing good crop rotations is critical to protect the longevity of any organic system by keeping the obstacles manageable and maximizing amendments. Designing rotational programs for large acreage includes not only agronomy but also logistics, labor, product availability, and sales/storage capacity. Any farm planning to expand should strategize all aspects to ensure success.
Wednesday Late Morning Session - Reducing Tillage in Organic Grain Production Systems
Presenter - Ron Hoover
Organic farmers rely heavily on tillage to prepare fields for planting and to control weeds during the growth of the crop. Regular heavy tillage is very time and fuel consuming, is damaging to soil structure, and frequently leaves field surfaces with little crop residue that can aid in reducing erosion. Recent research at Penn State will be presented that demonstrates that rolling and interseeding of cover crops can result in a reduction in primary tillage.
Field Crops Presenters
Andrew was raised on a farm in central Pennsylvania producing corn, soybearns, wheat, vegetables and venison. He developed a passion for organic farming in the late 2000's. He is currently farming 80 acres of crops organically including 2 acres of potatoes. Andrew is a 2008 graduate of Delaware Valley University with a Major in Agronomy and Minor in Business Administration. He is a CCA and serve on the regional USDA SARE AC Board. Andrew markets organic grain for Anchor Ingredients Co., LLC in Kutztown, PA and has his my own agronomic consulting business for NMP, Soil Sampling and Irrigation, Precizion Ag LLC.
Joel and Eric Steigman, Small Valley Milling
Joel Steigman has been an organic farmer since 1999, farming 300 acres with wife, Elaine, and son, Eric. He is also owner of Small Valley Milling, an organic flour mill located on the family farm in Halifax, PA. Small Valley Milling provides a variety of grains including spelt, emmer, emkorn, wheat, rye and corn.
Eric Steigman is a partner in the family faming operation and co-owner of Small Valley Milling.
Ron Hoover, PSU
Ron was raised on the family dairy, grain, and potato farm in Cambria County, PA. He hasn’t quite left the farm as he operates a 50-acre hay farm in addition to his responsibilities at Penn State. He currently coordinates on-farm research at Penn State in the Plant Sciences Department, teaches a grain crops production class, and is a member of the Agronomy extension team. He has overseen numerous crop production and soil management projects that were conducted on certified organic farms and has an appreciation for the numerous challenges faced by organic producers. In addition to serving on the PCO board of directors, Ron serves on the boards of the PA Agronomic Education Society, the Halfmoon Township Open Space Preservation board, the Centre County Ag Land Preservation board, and co-advises the Penn State Collegiate Farm Bureau Club.
Logan was raised on a produce and row crop farm in South Georgia. She earned an undergrad in Biology focusing in ecology and plant science from Valdosta State University and a Master's in Plant Protection and Pest Management from University of Georgia. In 2015, she was employed with Generation Farms as the agronomist for the north Florida and South Georgia farms. Once employed, Logan was introduced to organic production. In 2016, Logan became the company's organic farm manager. Logan and her team oversee 3,000 acres of organic land and manage over ten organic crops. Logan is responsible for developing a 5 year outlook for every certified organic acre. Agronomy, profitability and sustainability are the driving factors for her programs.
Jordan grew up on a large dairy farm in NW Lancaster and holds a BS in Agronomy from Delaware Valley University. Following college, he worked on his family dairy farm and was also a seed consultant for Dekalb & Asgrow, a division of Monsanto. After receiving his MBA from Lebanon Valley College in 2013, Jordan took a position with Fulton Bank as an agricultural lender. Jordan now works with a wide variety of agricultural producers/families and primarily covers the SE Pennsylvania region. Jordan resides in Elizabethtown with his wife, Laura, and sons Wyatt and Everett.
Dr Heather Darby, University of Vermont
Dr. Heather Darby is an Agronomist with the University of Vermont Extension. She works with organic farmers on grain, forage and soil needs specific to their organic systems. Heather also owns and operates an organic vegetable and livestock farm with her family in Vermont.